The Farrell Family

The Farrell Family
Genealogical description of Eileen Farrell, her siblings, antecedents and off-spring
initiated and based on investigations by James Malcolm Thompson (grandson)
and by Hugh Malcolm Thompson (son)
with major assistance and input from Helen MacDonald (grand niece)
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The Farrell Family
Main Contents
This historical record is divided (like Gaul) into three parts, for ease of downloading on the internet.
Part One
Section 1
Explanation of the notation used for the generations. . . . . Page 3.
Chapter 1
Tom Farrell. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 4.
Chapter 2
Mary Farrell.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 5.
Chapter 3
Alice Farrell.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 8.
Chapter 4
Eileen Farrell.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 11.
Chapter 5
Henry Ince Farrell. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 14.
Chapter 6
Evaline (Noble) Farrell. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 18.
Chapter 7
Samuel Smith Farrell. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 20.
Chapter 8
“Marianne” (Ince) Farrell. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 22.
Chapter 9
Children of Samuel and Marianne Farrell. . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 23.
Chapter 10
The Nobles. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 27.
Chapter 11
James Noble.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 31.
Chapter 12
William Noble. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 36.
Chapter 13
John Noble. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 40.
Chapter 14
Sarah Ann (Eales) Noble. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 46.
Chapter 15
Children of John and Sarah Ann Noble.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 47.
Chapter 16
Michael Farrell. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 52.
Chapter 17
Henry Charles Farrell. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 60.
Chapter 18
Family Lore. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 65.
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Section 2
Section 3
Part Two
Section 4
Part Three
Section 5
Section 6
The Farrell Family
Part Two
Section Four
Chapter 10
The Noble family.27
John Noble and Sarah Ann (Eales) Noble were the maternal grand-parents of Eileen Farrell.
William Noble and Jane (Gray) Noble were the parents of John Noble, and also direct ancestors
of Eileen Farrell (and of us).
Painting of William Noble, now possessed by Patrick
Carracher who has had it restored.
Painting of Jane Noble, now possessed by Patrick
Carracher who has had it restored.
The Nobles arrived in successive waves from Ireland during the mid 1800s, the parental home of
(-3. G.) William Noble and ( -3. H.) Jane (Gray) Noble being at Newtown-Stewart in the Parish of
Ardstraw, County Tyrone in Northern Ireland—the Noble family had been living in Northern Ireland
Som e significant and detailed research work about the Noble fam ily com m unicated to us by Helen
MacDonald has been provided in a genealogical study dated April 1980, called “NOBLES OF GEELONG
1841-1980" by the late Freda Noble (née Moore), who was m arried to Russell D’Esterre Noble, a grandson
of John Noble's brother, Jam es.
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for three centuries to that time. William’s father has been traced as George Noble but there is no
other information about him, other than that he had another son, John, William’s brother.28
In Pigot & Co directory of 1824, William (born 1792) is listed there as one of 10 persons in the
category of “Nobility, Gentry and Clergy”, with the entry “Noble Wm. Esq. Deer-park”. Deer-park,
now designated an area of scientific interest, has a short road leading to it on the western edge of
the town. In 1833, he was listed in the “Tithe Applotment Book”29 for the Parish with the address of
Mill Street, Newtownstewart in the centre of the town, the street now forming part of the present A5.
During the Irish troubles (date unknown), William apparently lost one of his arms, shot off in fighting.
His occupation is recorded as a surveyor (possibly at the Earl of Charlemont’s estate30 ) and also a
school teacher, and he and Jane appear to have been financially comfortable and their children well
Jane died at Newtownstewart on 29th April 1855 at age 53, by which time several of their children
(James, George, Mary Jane, William and John) had already migrated to Australia. William, the
father, then followed them in 1856 taking with him his youngest son Charles who was then just 15
years old. What had happened to the remaining living children, both daughters (Margaret and
Rebecca), is yet unknown but we have a clue that they may have both married and emigrated to
George(2) returned to his birthplace, Ireland, on a visit, and was responsible for this inscription on
his mother’s grave (at St Eugene’s, Newtownstewart):
“To the memory of Jane Gray/Noble, wife of William Noble, who departed this life the 29 April
1855 aged 53 years [poem]. Erected by her son George Noble on a visit to his native town
Newtownstewart October 1859".
William died on 12th February 1864 at Geelong.
William and Jane’s children were:
See below at page 31 (-2. F.)
Charles (1)
Twin brother of James, born 1821 and died at about age 18 in c. 1839.
George (1)
Died young
Died young
Helen MacDonald has found considerable inform ation of John, W illiam ’s brother, this em anating from one
of his descendants. Interesting though this line of descent certainly is, we have not included it in this history.
This was a register of properties subject to (unpopular) taxation contributing to the funds of the Church of
W illiam Noble m ay have assisted at the extensive Charlem ont Estate around Arm agh, a survey having been
initiated in 1827 by the Earl for the purpose of keeping control over all the tenancies and rentable property.
The m ain surveyor was Joshua Thom as Noble, whose m aps m ay be seen in the Public Records Office of
Northern Ireland (PRO NI). It seem s certain that the two Nobles were related but the exact relationship has
not yet been ascertained.
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Mary Jane
Born 1825, arrived in Geelong from Cootehill, Cavan in 1848 with brothers
John and William. In the same year of arrival, she married Henry Ashmore
and the couple had five children:
Eliza (born 1854),
George (born 1857),
Jane (born 1858, married W B Duffield and had two sons, William and
Alice (born 1862), and
James (no information).
They lived in or near Torquay (Victoria).
See below at page 36 (-2. G.)
See below at page 40 (-2. C.)31
George (2)
Born 1831, George arrived in Victoria on 7th August 1849 on “Royal George”.
The passenger list showed him as 17 years old, a labourer from Rostran (or
Rostian?), Tyrone. After arrival in Geelong, he was in partnership first with
brother John in Malop Street but that was dissolved sometime later, and then
with Thomas Keam (the brother of the wife of William Farrell, George’s
In 1853, the pair took over William’s business of grocers and wine and spirits
merchants, having stores in Geelong (Moorabool Street) and in Ballarat,
catering largely for the new immigrants, mainly gold seekers. This lasted until
1854 when it was disposed to Lineham Parks & Co.
George apparently had married (name unknown) soon after his arrival in
Geelong but was separated in or before 1855.
As seen above, he returned to Newtownstewart in Northern Ireland in 1859
but his subsequent whereabouts and activities have not been traced. In John
Noble’s family bible, he is recorded as having died on 30th March 1897 and
was buried in Sighthill Cemetery, Town Head, Glasgow. Perhaps he did not
return to Australia. There has been a suggestion, not yet substantiated, that
he may have been regarded as the black sheep of the family.
Born 1833
Born 1836
Charles (2)
Born 1841, arrived (with father William) in Victoria c. 1856, married Sophia
Ann Lugg. Charles died at age 27 on 27th July 1868. Two children:
Amelia Jane Grey (Mimmie) born 21st November 1865, brought up by
(Uncle) James at “Charlemont” after Charles’ death,
a baby daughter called Evaline.
W e have been fortunate to have heard from Patrick Carracher, who is a descendant from John Noble and
his daughter Lillias Maude (Noble) Livingston (qv), and who has m ade an extensive study of his antecedents
and in particular of the Noble fam ily. W e are indebted for his having m ade available to us m uch inform ation
resulting from his researches. He also has in his care John and Sarah Anne Noble’s Fam ily Bible from 1855.
In this, there are records of births, m arriages and deaths. All of this has been of trem endous assistance.
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The arrivals in Australia of so many of our antecedents from Ireland coincide with two events:
the Irish Famine which lasted from 1845 to 1852 and which resulted in a diaspora of
a total of about one million Irish emigrating (and about the same number dying), and
the Victorian Gold Rush, for about 10 years from 1851, which was to prove of much
advantage particularly to the Noble brothers in their initial commercial activities on
their arrival in the Colony.
We have more specific information of James (page 31), William (page 36), and John (page
40)—direct line ancestor of Eileen, and also of John’s wife Sarah (Eales) Noble (page 46).
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Chapter 11
-2 F.
James Noble
1821 at Newtown-Stewart, Co Tyrone (Ulster)
Married on 9th March 1844 to Sarah Jane Caldwell. Eight children
James at age 19, was the first to emigrate to Australia, arriving in Melbourne on board the
“Ferguson” on 12th/15th January 1841 with reportedly32 just five shillings in his pocket. He was an
assisted immigrant (sponsored by the colony of Victoria) with a £19 bounty. This was just two years
after his twin brother, Charles, had died. He soon established himself in business as a storekeeper
in Corio Street, Geelong.
Freda Noble notes:
“James Noble had a substantial grocery
business, had a bakery as a side-line. Nap
de la Ray came from Melbourne and opened
a bakery, reducing the price of a four pound
loaf of bread from 10 pence to 7 pence.
James bought the Corio Street bakery of
Charles Ruffle, awaited a favourable
opportunity for a master stroke, then
suddenly reduced the four pound loaf to four
pence. As if that was not enough, he added
a message to all regular customers informing
them that he would bake their dinners for
them every day ‘gratis’. This campaign
ended the price war. Exit - Nap de la Ray.”33
James Noble, as a young man.
Our computerised restoration of a dilapidated painting, artist
unknown. Thanks to Patrick Carracher.
He apparently did well and was sufficiently prominent
in the local society to become in 1850 an alderman
of Geelong’s first Town Council. At some time in his
life, he also became a JP. By 1852, he had a twostorey shop and dwelling in Malop Street, and then in
1854 had another property, in Fyans Street, thought
to be used as a bakery (possibly as referred to by
Freda Noble in the excerpt above).
He married Sarah Jane Caldwell on 9th March 1844 (at presbyterian St Andrew’s Church, Geelong),
she being also from Northern Ireland, Co Armagh. Sarah Jane was descended from a strain of
Nobles also, her father being Captain John William Noble, whose father was Lt Col William Noble.
Source: Freda Noble
This was reported in the Geelong Advertiser on 2 nd Septem ber 1844.
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We are yet to determine how these Nobles were related to those in our direct line of ancestry. The
couple produced six sons and two daughters:
James William, born 1845, married Anastasia Norman and had a son James Norman and
a daughter, Nancy. Anastasia apparently died whilst the children were young, in the mid
1880s; James W died in 1892.
John Charles, born 19th February 1847, married a) Mary Ann Flack of Ballan (born 8th
November 1852) on 27th July 1873, but she died on 28th August 1874 (aged 21) after birth
of a son Charles Albert on 18th August 1874, and b) Camilla Atkins (born c. 1863) on 25th
February 1879 (died May 1923). When John Charles died, at Geelong on 8th September
1938 at age 91, “The Argus” advised he left four sons and three daughters. It was also said:
“He was born in Geelong, and was the son of Mr. James Noble, a storekeeper. After
leaving Geelong College, Mr. Noble was for five years in the service of the
Commercial Bank of Australia, at Ballan. He then took over his father’s 12,000-acre
grazing property at Modewarre, where he remained until his retirement...”
Robert (1), died in infancy, 1850-1.
Jane Grey, born 1854, died at Geelong 1938. Married Frederick Caldwell Whitten, b. 1865,
d. 15th May 1907
George Cornelius, born 1856, married Fanny Allen MacMullen on 14th December 1881,34
died 1933 at Freshwater Creek, three sons: Allen, Ian (? Jock) McMullen Noble (d. 1891),
William Robert McMullen Noble (d. 1899).
Lillian Amelia, born 1858, died on 21st November 1938 (unwed).
Robert Washington, born 1860, married Susan MacMullen (sister of Fanny) in 1869, no
family, died 1944.
Frederick Leonard, born 25th April 1862, died at Charlemont on 18th January 1890 (unwed).
The following item is contained in a description of “Angahook” hom estead at Airey’s Inlet (see l):
“The Shire of W inchelsea rate books do not give a clear picture as to when ‘Angahook’ was actually
built. It is thought that Thom as B. Pearse started the hom estead’s construction around 1862. A
nearby quarry supplied stone for the building’s construction. Tom Pearse died from hepatitis in
1862. After this, his wife Martha continued to work the property with Robert McConachy until her
death in l870. Robert then sold ‘Angahook’ and m oved to a 270 acre property at Mirnee - to the west
of W inchelsea. John Rout Hopkins took over the pre-em ptive right and rented the hom estead to
Geelong wine m erchant W iIliam McMullen in conjunction with his son W illiam and George Cornelius
Noble. They eventually bought the hom estead and surrounding eight acres. Hopkins subdivided the
rem ainder of the pre-em ptive right into five acre blocks and town allotm ents. Over the years he
gradually released these for sale under the nam e of ‘Eagle Hawk Estate’. George Noble in 1881
m arried W illiam McMullen’s daughter Fanny and the hom estead property eventually cam e to the
Noble nam e. By 1927 the hom estead site was consolidated and included original lots 1/11 sect 28.
In 1978 part of this land was subdivided into 35 blocks. The original hom estead was destroyed on
Ash W ednesday 1983. Descendants of the Noble fam ily still live on part of the original ‘Angahook’
hom estead site. There are two large Norfolk Island Pine trees that survived the 1983 fires that still
m ark the spot of the hom estead.”
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A death notice for daughter Jane Grey on 6th December 1938 shows her as "daughter of the late
James and Caroline Noble". Likewise the death notice for Lillian Amelia shows her parents as “the
late James and Clara Noble” . We can only assume that “Caroline” and “Clara” were family name
diminutives for Sarah Jane.
On the Bellarine Peninsula, there is a lake, Lake Connewarre. It empties into the sea at Barwon
Heads via the Barwon River which before reaching the lake flows through Geelong. Although fairly
large, the lake is not one of the world’s fairest but is an excellent wetlands site for wildlife. In the
1840s, James Noble bought 100 acres of land on the south
western side, using it for fishing and shooting, this in
partnership with James’ closest friend, William Burrow (who was
the Mayor of Geelong between 1858 and 1860). Burrow later
in the 1840s sold out his interest to James. He presumably also
had his home there or in the vicinity since in 1850 he became
foundation president of the Connewarre Roads Board.36 Then
in 1855, he had a stone cottage built on the land, subsequently
extended with five more rooms, and this substantial property
was called “Charlemont”.37
Plaque on the wall inside the Geelong Town
Hall, noting the date (1841) of James’ arrival
in Geelong and (1850) of his election as an
Source: State Library of Victoria
James was new to primary industry but relied on his natural
ability to see him through. Later, he purchased more land in the
vicinity south west of Connewarre—at Modewarre (another
lake) and inland from Anglesea. This was presumably the
“12,000-acre grazing property” which his son John Charles took
over (but we wonder if the report in “The Argus” was mistaken
and that the land was but 1,200 acres). He also purchased a
property called “Big Marsh”, at 371-399 Lake Road,
Connewarre and this consisted of a large acreage of farming
The nam e "Connewarre" is the aboriginal nam e for the Black Swan, these were in huge num bers on Lake
Connewarre, which the Barwon River flows through on its way to the sea. It is also the site where in the year
1803 an escaped convict, W illiam Buckley known as wild white m an, a m an of huge stature was found
unconscious by the aborigines alongside an aboriginal chief's grave. They claim ed that he had died black
fellow and jum ped up white fellow. He was succoured and lived with the tribe for som e thirty-two years and
when found by white m en could no longer speak his m other tongue and had sunk to the level of a savage.
There is a well at Bream lea known as Buckleys well and a cave on the Bluff at Barwon Heads known as
Buckleys Cave. It is he who som e say was the person in the expression “Buckley’s chance”.
The Roads Boards were not just responsible for roads but were the local unitary authority, m any later evolving
into the area council.
This was possibly after the nam e of a vessel “Earl of Charlem ont” which had just been wrecked off Barwon
Heads in 1853, all or nearly all of the 435 passengers being saved, Jam es Noble being one of the Relief
com m ittee-m em bers. Alternatively, it m ay refer to the Earl of Charlem ont, after whom the ship was
presum ably nam ed, who represented a parliam entary constituency in Co Tyrone in Northern Ireland, the
Charlem ont (Caulfeild) fam ily having a large estate in the County where Freda Noble records that “J T Noble”
(probably Joshua Thom as Farrell, a relation) had worked as a surveyor.
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He continued to trade in land acquisitions and disposals, around Modewarre, “Swampy Creek” 38 off
the Anglesea River, and also building blocks in the present Anglesea township area. At one stage,
from 1858 to 1873, he owned Dietrich’s 17-acre vineyard at Fyansford. He also had property in
Queensland and New South Wales.
In 1875, he was still at Connewarre and his occupation was described as “grazier”. By 1882, he is
recorded as having the following holdings:
acres at Barwon Heads Road, Belmont;
acres and house at Connewarre;
acres and house at Connewarre;
acres at Bream Creek;
acres at Connewarre.
In 1883-84, the land at Big Marsh, presumably last in this list, was leased to a third party so it would
seem James had then retired. It is recorded that he then lived at “Claremont”, 143 Noble Street,
He was undoubtedly a
prominent citizen in the
Geelong area and we
understand that Noble Street
in Geelong is named after
him; it was occupied by the
more affluent members of the
community, many involved in
the wool trade. Similarly,
there are Noble Streets in
Barwon Heads and in
Anglesea, which may have
been named after James or
others of the family.
He was a director (in 1865) of
the first Geelong woollen mill:
Victorian Woollen and Cloth
Manufacturing Co Ltd and
also of the Geelong Meat
Source: Patrick Carracher.
Preserving Company in 1871
The reference in the last sentence is to Russell d’Esterre Noble, husband of
(but that ended in 1874 at a
Freda Noble who provided a family-tree (mentioned elsewhere herein).
loss). He was also a director
of the Commercial Bank of Australia (Yarra Street, Geelong), and trustee of Geelong Vineyard
Company (sold after 5 years at a loss). He was evidently also one of the trustees winding up the
Geelong and Western District Insurance Company, in 1875.39
“Swam py Creek” is the present-day Anglesea— a som ewhat m ore attractive nam e!
The trustees wrote a letter of apology, published in the Argus, to a local solicitor for alleged libel, and paid
him £50 in recom pense.
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He has been described as a religious zealot (an Orangeman).40 He was certainly a staunch
supporter of the Church of England, despite having married in a Presbyterian church.
He died on 9th May 1897 (aged 76).
Of the five Noble brothers who left Northern Ireland and went to Geelong, James was the patriarchal
figure making a solid base for the subsequent arrivals, not just of his brothers but of his father and
sister and other relatives. At their house “Charlemont”, Sarah and he presided over an extended
family, catering and caring for others within the Noble clan, viz nieces and grandchildren.
He became very wealthy and apparently retained his wealth, unlike the fate of his brothers, John and
William who both seemed to prosper initially in Geelong but died in comparatively modest
circumstances. James’ main beneficiary was probably his second eldest son, John Charles (the
eldest, James William, having predeceased his father), who took over his property at Modewarre.
James Noble, in later life
From a picture provided by Patrick Carracher/Liz Barber.
Source: Freda Noble.
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Chapter 12
-2 G.
William Noble
1827 (one internet reference shows “1824")
5th December 1881, drowned in the Maribyrnong River, Melbourne
Provisions merchant (grocer) / insurance traveller
Married Emma Keam in Christ Church, Geelong on 25th November 1851.
Eleven children, at least five of whom surviving infancy:
Alfred Claude
Agnes Emma
Frederick William
Anna Jane
Ellen Leila Gray
Amy Blanche
William Harold
Mabel Amelia
Francis Edward
Ernest Byron
Edith May
27th August 1854 (baptised), Geelong - 16th December
29th December 1856 (baptised) - 1927, married on 29th
January 1907 (at age 50) John Hart, who was the son
of his mother’s second husband (see below)
25th November 1859 (baptised) - 28th January 1860,
died at 10 weeks
9th April 1861(baptised), Geelong - 1901, married
Alexander Lowenstein in 1881
24th January 1863 (baptised) - 19th June 1864, died at
17 months
1865, Geelong - 1875
1867, Geelong - 1873
17 May 1870 (baptised), Geelong - ?
24th January 1872 (baptised) - ?
16th May 1874 (baptised) - 2nd April 1894
14th Jul 1877 (baptised), Geelong - 28th June 1972,
married Peter Ernest Keam (doubtless a relative within
her mother’s family)
It is also worth describing the life in Australia, of William, John’s brother, who migrated with him to
Geelong in 1848. It seems that all the four eldest siblings (James, George, William and John) were
successful in business, at least in their early days in Australia.
In Geelong, William married Emma Keam,41 an internet source suggesting on 25th November 1851
at Christ Church, Geelong. Emma was then just sixteen years old, the daughter of Peter Keam from
St Austell, Cornwall, England, who had migrated in 1849 as a widower with eight children including
Emma. William and Emma produced eleven children as shown above, relentlessly a baby every two
to three years.
William, the son of William, began by becoming a director of a building society in 1850 and also by
trading from a place in Moorabool Street Geelong, as a wines and spirits merchant. An
advertisement dated 1st July 1852 was placed in several issues of the Melbourne Argus, up to about
September of that year, inviting “Gold Diggers” to buy his port, sherry, brandy, rum, and gin (this of
course being at the time of the gold rush in Victoria).
Parents: Peter Richard Keam and Em m a Geach .
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It is worthy of mention that:
“The discovery of gold in Victoria caused dramatic
increases in population and social upheaval. The
population of Geelong almost tripled from 1851 to
1857. Some 3,700 immigrants arrived in Geelong in
1853, not all intent on seeking gold, but needing
provisions, accommodation and work. A huge trail of
fortune seekers was lured to the goldfields of nearby
William disposed of the business in 1853, to his brother
George (qv above) and to his brother-in-law Thomas Keam,
who both in partnership extended the business, with
premises also in Ballarat. William’s subsequent occupation to 1859 is unknown but probably he
continued as a grocer, it being said that the “businesses of the [four Noble] brothers moved and
changed hands at a rapid rate, reflecting the feverish activity of the gold rush.”43
Then, in 1854, he bought property near to Leopold, to the east of Geelong. This is on the north side
of Lake Connewarre, on the other side and some distance away from his eldest brother James’
house in Connewarre. It occupies land bordering the lake, including a long-fingered promontory
facing south (the property looking a little like the shape of Florida in USA).
A website entry44 includes:
1854: 'Melaluka' Kensington, a 38 acre property overlooking Lake Connewarre was bought
from Geelong Town Councillor, Michael O'Farrell, by William Noble, merchant, for 55
pounds. Lake Connewarre, near
G eelong, w as consider e d a
"picturesque sheet of water..which
attracted a good many early settlers."
Another (Heritage) website gives
similar information, spelling the name
“Melaleuca” and giving the address as
221 Matthews Road, Leopold.45
Present-day “Melaleuka”
Just two years later,1856, he tried to
sell a property—presumably this same
property, which was described by the
agent as “The very Cream of
CONNEWARRE”, at auction. The
From : .au/gandd/im ages/stories/pdfs/InsolventThom asG eachKEAM.pdf
From : /stone-tree/indiI00240.htm l
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advertisement in the Argus describes a large brick three-bedroom house with a number of farm
buildings and outhouses, and some 88 acres of “rich agricultural land” (but that may be a printer’s
error and should show 38 acres).
However, no sale eventuated and in 1858, the property was again advertised for sale, by private
contract, this time the land area was shown as 38 acres. We have no record of any completed sale
but the house (considerably extended and spelled “Melaleuka”) and property remain today and there
is also a Melaluka Road, adjacent to Matthews Road.
William, apparently moved back to Geelong (Fyans Street)46 in about 1857, and in 1859 he obtained
a liquor and grocer’s licence for a shop at 15 Great Ryrie Street, Geelong. An advertisement in the
Geelong Advertiser of 1st May 1869 proclaimed:
William Noble and Company. Great Ryrie Street.
New Season’s Teas in Chests, Halves and Boxes.
The undersigned have a large and complete assortment of the best New
Season’s Teas, Sugars, Oilman’s Stores, Provisions, Dried Fruit, Tobaccoes,
Liverpool Salt, Flour, etc, etc, also Bottled Stout and Ale, Wines and Spirits,
Cordials and Colonial Wines.
All the best quality and will be sold at the lowest figures.
The business continued until 22nd October 1874 when it was assigned to the Australasian Mercantile
Mutual Association Ltd, in trust for the benefit of creditors.
Then in 1875 he was living in Melbourne and still described as a grocer. This information comes
from a notice in the Argus (12th November 1875) of probate being granted to James Noble, “grazier”
and to William Noble, “formerly of Geelong and now of Melbourne, ... grocer” as executors of a Will
(for Henry Ashmore, a farmer of Jan Juc, near Torquay, south of the Bellarine Peninsula and who
was the husband of Mary Jane Noble, one of John and William’s sisters). There was also a notice
published in the Argus earlier that year (27th January 1875) listing "Dividends" payable to the
Australasian Mercantile Mutual Association Ltd, and this included the entry: "Wm. Noble, Geelong,
grocer, final", presumably relating to his grocery business in Ryrie Street. Perhaps William moved
from Geelong to Melbourne only that year.
It has also been established that a daughter, Edith May Noble, was born in Melbourne in 1877
(although apparently baptised in Geelong), with Emma then being about 42.
We know a little more of William from an Inquest Notice published in the Argus on 12th December
1881, he having died from drowning in the Maribyrnong River (large winding river, then called
Saltwater River, flowing through Melbourne and which combines with the Yarra River near the
outflow into Port Phillip Bay). It reads:
But see the inset item on page 34; W illiam and his brothers seem to have occupied a num ber of properties
at different tim es.
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Mr Candler held an inquest at Maribyrnong on Friday, on the body of William Noble,
which was found floating in the Saltwater River near Maribyrnong meat works on Thursday
last. It appeared that deceased was about 55 years of age, and had recently been engaged
as traveller for an insurance company. He lived in West Melbourne, and left his home on
Monday morning last in his usual health. As he did not return his family became alarmed
and informed the police of his disappearance. Nothing was heard of him, however, until
Thursday morning, when his body was found floating in the Saltwater River by a driver
named John Ludwig. He had been in the habit of drinking occasionally, but had never
exhibited signs of unsoundness of mind. Dr. Murkett, of Footscray, had made a post-mortem
examination, and pronounced death to have resulted from drowning. The jury brought in a
verdict of found drowned, with no evidence to show how he got into the water.
In John Noble’s family bible, an entry shows that he “was drowned in the river, near Maribyrnong
Meat Works, Footscray, during the severe storm that was experienced on Monday night the 5th
December 1881. His body was found floating in the river on Thursday 8th Decr.” Whether his death
was a result of an accident or of suicide is unclear.
The Inquest Notice indicates he had a family at his home in West Melbourne, this presumably
consisting of his wife Emma and some of their children (most likely including Agnes and Edith).
It also seems that we can conclude his grocery business in Geelong had failed or had been wound
up and he had only just taken up the occupation of insurance salesman/inspector—possibly in
desperation since we know nothing of any previous occupation after his move to Melbourne. Not
a happy end to a life which may have been expected to have turned out better in the light of his
earlier achievements after arriving in Australia.
A little more is known of Emma’s subsequent life. On 25th November 1884, she married 59 year-old
William Hart,47 a wealthy and influential businessman and parliamentarian, of “Bifrons”,48 High
Street, Launceston in Tasmania, where they both continued to live. For them both, it was a second
It was there that Edith May, the youngest daughter of William (Noble) and Emma, must have met
Peter Ernest Keam (presumably a distant relative of Emma), since the two subsequently married,
in 1905 at the Methodist Church, Paterson Street, Launceston.
Emma’s eldest daughter, Agnes Emma, had apparently also accompanied her mother to Launceston
and lived at “Bifrons”. At the mature age of 50, she married John Hart who was one of William
Hart’s four sons by his previous marriage (to Mary Huysey).
Emma died in 1931 (William Hart having died in 1904—leaving considerable wealth, including 19
farming properties).
A large m ansion, now converted to serviced apartm ents, which was twice raided by bushrangers in the
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Chapter 13
-2 C.
John Noble — Eileen’s maternal grandfather
27th February 1829 at Newtownstewart in the parish of Ardstraw, Co Tyrone,
Ireland (baptised 8th March 1829 in the Church of England)
14th July 1906 at Geelong
Prior to arriving in Australia, shoemaker. Then a grocer, commission agent,
valuator, and general merchant.
Married on 20th January 1853 to Sarah Ann Eales, at Christ Church, Geelong.
Nine children (plus two adopted children).
John Noble travelled to Australia, at age 19, with his elder brother
William (21) and sister Mary Jane (probably aged 23 but ship’s
manifest records “20"), on the ship “Sir Edward Parry”, the men’s
occupation each being recorded as “Shoemaker”, from Cavan,
and Mary Jane recorded as a “house-servant” from “Coothill”
[sic—now Cootehill], Cavan. It seems the three siblings had
already moved from their parents’ home at Newtonstewart, Parish
of Ardstraw in Co Tyrone before embarkation for Australia. They
arrived in Melbourne on 20th January 1848, the ship having left
Plymouth on 5th October 1847. They were assisted immigrants
(ie assisted financially by the Victorian Government) and joined
their eldest brother James who, as described above, had already
migrated there.
The “Sir Edward Parry” was an emigrant ship, carrying a large
number of children, mainly female, to join their parents in
Australia. John, William and Mary Noble were all regarded as
“children”, as is shown in the accompanying extract from the
Melbourne “Argus”.
The voyage from England was eventful from a near mutiny by the
crew. On board, Captain Freeman had decreed that none of the
crew could have “intercourse” (presumably meaning
conversation) with any of the female passengers but one crewmember persisted in doing so and was put in irons. Ten of the
remaining crew protested and threatened the Captain. However,
nothing more mutinous occurred until after the Nobles and others
had disembarked at Port Phillip and until the ship was on its way
out of Hobson’s Bay. The crew disobeyed orders and were
confined to the forecastle whilst the officers, boys and some of the remaining emigrants worked the
ship to its destination of Sydney.
Younger brother, George(2), followed the trio of siblings to Australia the next year. Both William and
John seemed to make early good strides in establishing themselves as successful businessmen,
John more so of the two.
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John had property in Geelong at Moorabool Street and Malop Street from 1850, then lived at newly
completed and substantial mansion “Barwon Bank”,49 35 Riversdale Road, Chilwell, Newtown,
Geelong from about 1856 to 1858, having married Sarah Eales in 1853 and in 1854 becoming an
alderman of Geelong Town Council. John and Sarah are of course, the grandparents of Eileen (and
are our direct ancestors).
“Barwon Bank”
From there he apparently went to what
was variously called Barwon Crescent
or Barwon Avenue (perchance the
present Barwon Terrace), the property
possibly being named Castleton Dale,
but he sold that on 31st March 1859
because “leaving the colony”.50 As
listed in a later advertisement, 600
acres of land, Oaklands Estate, Bream
Creek (near Barwon Heads) were put
up for sale, and some property/land at
Thomsons Creek, near Paraparap
(south-west of Geelong, inland from
Torquay). There is no evidence of his
leaving Australia at that time but
perhaps, this was when he was starting
to obtain holdings further north, in
Queensland (see below).
During this period, he evidently prospered with a grocery and wines and spirits store in the centre
of Geelong, called the Miner’s Warehouse, from which business he retired in 1856, the property, in
Malop Street being auctioned on 20th February 1856. The business is described as “the large
grocery shop of J. and G. Noble in Malop-street”51 which would seem to indicate that brother George
was or had been a partner. John explained later that he retired from the business “to recruit my
health and to steer clear of the crisis which I saw coming on in Victoria.”52
John Noble, then just 27, must have been reasonably affluent, with investments in land and in mining
shares and doubtless more. It was an extraordinary achievement, he having built his wealth in only
8 years from the time he had arrived in the colony in 1848. Doubtless, the contemporaneous
Victorian gold-rush assisted his prosperity.
“Barwon Bank', erected 1853-56, is an important early Victorian mansion house and one of few documented
works in Victoria of the virtually unknown, but accomplished architect, Thomas R. Yabsley. Upon completion
in 1856, this comparatively rare example of the colonial regency style mansion in Victoria was considered to
be "the finest specimen of architecture in the W estern District". John Gregory, a noted Geelong solicitor,
occupied the mansion only until 1856; later occupants were associated with Barwon River industries”. - from
the website of the Victorian Heritage Council.
“Geelong Advertiser”
This cam e from a correspondent to the Melbourne Argus, published on 19 th September 1855, describing an
earthquake in the area which gave rise to som e consternation.
W ritten in 1867, whilst in New York. See later discussion .
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He was active in social and civic affairs in Geelong, was a Founder (in 1856, the year he retired from
the Miners Warehouse business) of the Matthew Flinders National Grammar School, then for boys,
and present-day becoming the Matthew Flinders Girls Secondary College. He was also an active
member of Christ Church Geelong, and was a Freemason.
As a general merchant, John had travelled between and buying property in Victoria, New South
Wales and Queensland. One of his interests appears to have been exchanging plants and birds
between his holdings in the different colonies!
From The Brisbane Courier, Saturday 6 May 1865
(From the Bulletin, May 2.)
A NOVEL export will be made this morning by the Clarence. Messrs. Fyfe and Noble, with very
commendable public spirit, take with them a number of piebald geese, scrub turkeys, (Talegallas),
and a caseful of other birds, natives of Queensland, which they intend to present to the
Acclimatisation Society of Victoria, and to Mr. Austin of Barwon Park. From this gentleman they
expect to get a considerable number of pheasants, which they will bring up on their return, and which
they hope to acclimatise in the northern districts of this colony. The example shown by these
gentlemen is worthy of all praise, and the attempt to acclimatise the pheasant is very praiseworthy
and deserving of success. These birds came from the well-known collection of Mr. McGregor, of the
Ulster Arms Hotel, and their excellent condition shows they have been under careful and intelligent
John then became involved with the same person called Fyfe as quoted in the block above,53 in a
partnership (Fyfe, Hamersley & Noble) owning a “station” (ie large land property used for sheep
farming) at Rockhampton in Queensland, and this turned out to be a duplicitous enterprise with John
claiming to have been what we would call the “fall guy”. The episode ostensibly blighted the rest of
his career. In essence, he found that he was being dunned for debts of the station under a
partnership agreement which allowed unlimited joint and several liability, the other partners
apparently having no funds to contribute.
The financial and legal implications appeared so serious, for John to decide to flee the country
(leaving his wife and children behind) on 20th October 1865, his first destination being “his native
land”.54 His movements are not clear, but he was in Bonn, Germany in the winter of 1866 up to and
including March of that year, and then in August 1866 was in New York. He also received a
barrister’s opinion in/from Ireland and refers to visits to England and Scotland as well. From his
writings, it seems he had company, referring on occasions to “our” and “we” but it is unclear who his
companion or companions may have been.
Then in (no earlier than) May 1867 he self-published in New York a lengthy treatise55 on the
Queensland partnership. This was called “Bank Disclosures and Revelations of a Bank and its
John Noble later disputed that Fyfe had anything to do with the bird acclim atisation project.
As recorded in his fam ily bible, now. possessed by Patrick Carracher
A copy is held in the Dixson Library in Sydney and also by the State Library of Victoria (see phlets/inter/1220186.shtm l )
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Merchants’ Victim; or, How Bank Managers and their
Merchants Make Dupes in Australia.” Catchy! It is an
involved and rambling diatribe of some 59 pages, emotionally
expressed, of John’s treatment by the Union Bank and others,
and it detailed his allegations of the fraudulent activities of his
partners in the Queensland station property and why he had
to leave the country (to avoid writs being served upon him).
It was addressed to the Union Bank in London, appealing to
it to make amends for the wrongs which John felt. We have
seen no evidence of the bank responding in any way.
Cover of “Bank Disclosures ...”
Although John had fled Australia alone, he was at some stage
joined by his wife and family abroad. In his tract, he
mentioned sending a copy of the case to his wife for
safekeeping “in the event of any thing happening to me on my
travels”, so presumably in about the middle of 1867, Sarah
was still in Geelong. In his writings, John also refers to a bailiff
having been put in his Geelong house in his absence“when
his wife was being confined”. That must have been when
Sarah was pregnant with their youngest daughter, Lettie, who
was born in Geelong, on 16th May 1866, without John being
present. It seems that at some time later, Sarah and their nine
children left Australia to join John abroad, not returning to
Geelong until early 1875.
Their main destination was apparently USA living there for some years, but also they went to (and
fro) Europe: Ireland and Britain. In 1870, their address was West 23rd Street (between Izard and
Nicholas), Omaha, Nebraska.56
The Nobles were then found in Derby, England in 1871, the whole family being recorded in the 1871
England Census (2nd April) as residing at 10 North Parade, North Derby—this is part of a terraced
row near the centre of the town. John Noble (aged 42) was described as “Retired General
Merchant”—he seems to have done sufficiently well financially in his career to be able to retire so
young and travel “en famille” extensively, despite the Queensland disaster.
This appears to have been on one of several trips made to England by John from his base in
America, made “to assist immigration to USA and for his wife’s health.” 57 However on a visit or visits
away from America after 1871, they left their eldest son John Albert Gray Noble, at a boarding
school in New York because he had been very seasick (see his entry below at page 47).
Whilst abroad from Australia, John manifestly remained smarting from his treatment over the
Queensland station and was looking for reparations and presumably for restitution of his good name.
He sent an eleven-page letter to and published in the “Geelong Advertiser” on 15th June 1872, and
forty-four pages to the Geelong Council (30th November 1872). We have not seen these documents
and are unaware of any effect they may have had—Freda Noble writes there was none.
This does not quite fit with the present-day m ap. It is in an area north-west of the city centre, now built-up
but probably then at least verging on open country. Izard and Nicholas are roads running east to west and
the crossing north-south roads are num bered around 50 th to 60 th Streets.
As recorded by Freda Noble.
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1871 English Census Record - Derby
Recorded also by Freda Noble, John’s address in 1874-5 was 437 12th Street, Omaha, Nebraska
(in the city centre), which must have been immediately before the family’s return to Geelong (arriving
on 20th January 1875). Eldest son John Albert elected to remain in USA and, as was his wish, was
adopted by another family, probably Noble/Gray relatives living there. It appears to have been an
exchange, since John and Sarah there adopted two children named Gray, and took them with the
remainder of the family back to Geelong. The family name being Gray, these were presumably
descendants of John Noble’s mother, née Jane Gray, perhaps via one of her brothers, and who had
moved to Omaha.
It is not known to us how John financed all of his and his family’s peregrinations abroad, but
presumably it was funded mainly from accumulated wealth, despite that having been depleted by
the loss of his Queensland property.
Once the family returned to Geelong, we have little information of John and Sarah’s later life, but
it is clear that John revived his grocery activities. However on 18th February 1879, a notice in the
“Argus” called for tenders for stock and book debts of the “TRUST ESTATE of JOHN NOBLE and
Co., of Geelong, Grocers and Wine and Spirit Merchants” to be lodged with Ecroyd and Danby,
Trade Assignees.
Then, the following account of "NEW INSOLVENTS" was published in the Melbourne “Argus”on 26th
November 1881, the business tendered for sale on 19th December 1881:
"John Noble, grocer, Geelong. Causes of insolvency—Bad debts, depression in
trade and loss by fire. Liabilities, £3,411 9s. 1d. ; assets, £3,104 7s. 10d. ;
deficiency, £307 1s. 3d."
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The amounts are not paltry by the conditions of the day. Although bearing in mind John’s eventual
memorial death notice drawn in glowing terms of his "sound business methods and knowledge of
finance", the insolvency notice does seem to fit correctly into the picture. He was granted a
certificate of discharge on 6th April 1882, then being described as “late grocer”. It may be recalled
that his brother William’s grocery business had also gone under in 1875.58
In 1906 his address was in Hope Street, Geelong, the street consisting of relatively modest houses.
In May of that year, his youngest (and reputedly favourite) child Lettie had died (at about age 39).
John himself died at age 77 on 14th July 1906 in Geelong Hospital, the causes shown on the death
certificate being “Senile Decay” and “Gangrene of Foot”,59 the duration of which had been a “year”
or “years”. His occupation was shown as “Commission Agent” (in 1885, the marriage certificate of
his daughter Evaline, our direct ancestor, shows his occupation as “Valuator”—perhaps he may be
described as having been a once successful general dealer or even “wheeler-dealer”).
Of his achievements, he is recorded as an original committee member in the prospectus of the
Geelong, Ballarat and North Western Railway Company (1854), and in 1859 was one of the prime
movers within a citizen’s committee formed to advocate cutting of the Bar across Corio Bay.60 Later
(1878) John also was one of many sponsors of the Colonial Mutual Fire Insurance Co Ltd, and
generally it may be said John Noble was always active in civic and social affairs in Geelong, and
much respected there despite his life having been so much scarred by the Queensland debacle.
When he died in 1906 there was a newspaper memorial notice:
“Corporation flag at half mast; member of Town Council many years ago; well known figure
about town, widely respected; in early days extensive wine and spirit business Malop Street;
heart and soul into movement for cutting of the bar at entrance to Corio Bay; valuable work
to the town on council, sound business methods and knowledge of finance very helpful; one
of the original members of Geelong Volunteer Fire Brigade; while funeral cortege in progress
bell at St Paul’s tolled at intervals of a minute.”
This was at the tim e of the worldwide “Long Depression” which stretched from the 1870s to the 1890s.
As best as we can decipher.
Earlier attem pts had been m ade at this, the Bar condem ning G eelong as a shallow water port, but the Bar
was not just sand but also hard rock. A South Channel was cut in 1861 to allow a 5.5 m etre draft but it was
abandoned because of silting. It took 12 years from 1881-1893 to cut the present channel through a ridge
of very hard lim estone that extends across the mouth of the harbour.
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Chapter 14
-2 D.
Sarah Ann (Eales) Noble — Eileen’s maternal grandmother
29th March 1832 at Greenhithe, Kent (England)
29th June 1922, at 48 Lewisham Road, Windsor (Melbourne)
“Millener” [sic]
Married on 20th January 1853 to John Noble, at Christ Church, Geelong.
Nine children (plus two adopted children).
Sarah’s parents were (-3. E.) William Eales and (-3. F.) Sarah (Cook) Eales who married in London
probably about 1825. She was born at Greenhithe (near Dartford) in Kent in 1832. Her father was
a shipwright and by the time Sarah was 9 years old in 1841, the family had moved to Victoria Parade
(running next to the water’s edge appropriately) at Cockington in Torquay. By the time of the 1851
Census, the family had moved to nearby
Paignton, with the then 20 year-old Sarah
Ann shown with the occupation of
“Millener”. She was the eldest child of five,
her siblings being Mary Ann (18), John (12),
Martha (8), and William who then 14 was
not present at the time of the Census.
It seems that in the same year, 1851, or the
next, they migrated to Australia where on
20th January 1853, Sarah Ann married John
Noble, subsequently producing nine
children from 1854 to 1867.
Also, on 31st December 1853, her sister,
Mary Anne married Harvey Combe, a
Torquay (England) and Victoria Parade - c. 1890
solicitor of Ryrie Street Geelong. The
announcement in the Argus describes her
as the “second daughter of William Eales of Barwin Crescent, recently of Torquay, ship-builder.”
This may in fact refer to Barwon Crescent which is the same street in which John Noble lived at the
Sarah Ann outlived her husband and died, aged 90 on 30th July 1922 at 48 Lewisham Road,
(Windsor) Prahran, where she had apparently been living with her daughter Lillias, and was buried
in Eastern Cemetery, Geelong in the family vault. Her death certificate showed that her place of
birth was “Torquay, England” and that she had been in Australia for 80 years—both items patently
Her father, William, died in 1869 and her mother, Sarah, died in 1871, both at Geelong. Their son
and Sarah Ann’s brother, William, died in Geelong also, in 1893 (all in Geelong Eastern Cemetery).
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The children of John and Sarah Ann Noble were:
-1 L.
John Albert Gray Noble
16th October 1854 at Barwon Avenue/Crescent, Geelong
17th August 1923 (age 68), at 2112, 33rd Street, Omaha, Nebraska, USA (the
home of his daughter)
Married on 17th March 1879 to Hannah Wright (both of Fort Calhoun Precinct,
near Omaha, Nebraska, USA), d. 14th December 1879. One child, a
daughter, died soon after birth.
John Albert probably re-married, having at least one daughter.
John Albert Gray Noble was born 16 October 1854 in Barwon Avenue/Crescent, Geelong and
baptised on 21 December at Christ Church there. The family story (ie according to Freda Noble)
about him is that on one of the family's trips between USA and Europe, he had suffered from severe
seasickness and been left at a boarding school in New York in the 1860s. Later, John A G Noble
was said to have been adopted at his own wish by a wealthy American family—this may have been
relatives, by name of Gray, of his father John Noble—and stayed behind to live in Omaha,
Nebraska. The circumstances have been outlined above in the discussion of John Noble.
We have evidence from John Noble’s family bible that John Albert Gray married Hannah Wright on
17th March 1879, the couple both living at Fort Calhoun, which is a settlement north of Omaha.
Hannah was just 16 years old and then she died on 14th December 1879, in or following child
birth—their daughter is shown as having died on 17th December 1879, but the cemetery records are
not fully clear, both buried at Allen (Pioneer Memorial) Cemetery.61 A tragedy.
John Albert died in 1923 (see above) at his daughter’s home, this according to an entry in John
Noble’s family bible. The implication is that he had re-married but we are yet to identity his second
wife or his offspring. Similarly, we are unaware of his occupation and other particulars of his life.
John Gray Noble's descendants tried to contact the Nobles in Geelong some (many) decades ago.
Unfortunately their letter arrived at one of John’s children's addresses (or received by Alice—see
Horace Noble below) during an acrimonious divorce, and the disaffected wife threw it into the fire.
-1 M. Clara Louise (Noble) Wadelton
23rd November 1855 at Castleton Dale, Barwon Crescent, Geelong (“on the
arrival of the New Constitution of Victoria” 62 ).
See /cem etery/Cem etery.asp?ID=26
As recorded (proudly) in John Noble’s fam ily bible.
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-1 N.
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8th October 1916 (age 61)
Married on 31st August 1881 to Charles James Wadelton at St Paul’s Church,
Lillias Maude (Noble) Livingston63
16th July 1857, at Barwon Avenue, Geelong
24th October 1944 (age 87), at Mount Royal (Melbourne), buried in Noble
family vault, East Geelong
Married on 8th July 1879 to Frederic Livingston (born c. 1882) , died 7th
December 1891) of Windsor, Melbourne, at All Saints Church, Geelong.
Reginald Stanley, b. 1880
Bertie Oswald, b. 1882
Ethel Maude, b. 1884
Elsie Beatrice, b. 1886
Edith May, b. 1888
Norman Rupert, b. 1890
-1. B
Evaline (Noble) Farrell
-1 O.
Frederick Warner Noble
(see Part One at page 18)
6th June 1860 at no. 66 McKillop Street, Geelong
Married Catherine (“Katie”) Beattoun on 15th July 1891. Two children:
Winifred Mary (b. 1895),
Wilfred Warner (b. < 9th July 1899, d. 9th July 1986).
A full fam ily-tree and history of Lillias and her husband Frederic Livingston has been assiduously com piled
by present-day descendent, Patrick Carracher, and he also has in his possession the John and Sarah Anne
Noble bible.
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Frederick Warner Noble became the manager of Bartram
and Son’s Freezing Works in Melbourne and also
secretary of the Victorian Creamery and Butter Company
Limited (prior to it folding in 1895). This caused him some
grief when in 1904 he appeared as a witness before a
Royal Commission enquiring into rebates given within the
butter trade. Accusations of malpractice were pressed
and Frederick endured hard questioning from the
Commission’s Counsel (and the Chairman). Another
witness, an employee who had been discharged, accused
him of theft from the Company, saying that he “sold
machinery and pocketed the money.” However, Frederick
seems to have weathered this: we have not seen the
Commission’s report but Press coverage does not name
him, and he was still “works manager” of Bartrams at
Victoria Docks in 1919.
The Advertiser (Adelaide), 11th August 1904
-1 P.
-1 Q.
Ada Sophia (Noble) Eales
19th October 1861 at Chilwell
23rd March 1947, at her home at 34 Caines Grove, Bentleigh, Victoria
(age 85)
Married on 10th September 1890 to Alfred Warner Eales64 at St Paul’s
Church, Geelong. Two (unwed) daughters.
Eurydice Eva (Noble) Williams
28th February 1863, at Oaklands Estate, Geelong
11th June 1946 (as E E Williams) (age 84), at Austin Hospital, Melbourne
Married on 12th (?) July 1890 at Northcote, Victoria, Walter Sheldon Williams.
One known son, Walter John, who died on 29th December 1915 (parents’
address then being 8 Bell Street Fitzroy).
This m ay be a cousin: the m arriage notice refers to “Alfred W arner, only son of W illiam Eales, Devonshire,
England”. W illiam and Sarah Eales were the parents of Sarah Ann Eales who m arried John Noble. They
were indeed from Devonshire and had two sons, but neither of that nam e: W illiam , born c. 1836/7 and John
born c. 1840/1.
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The death notice in the “Argus”for Walter John Williams showed
“... collateral descendant of Lord Horatio Nelson, and great nephew of the late General J. D.
Williams, Bombay Staff Corp, and Sheldon Williams, artist, Hampshire, England; grandson
of Mrs John Noble, Geelong.”
In addition to the ancestral connection with Lord Nelson, and with (Inglis) Sheldon Williams who was
a well-known artist around the time of WWI, we note that Walter John must have been in his early
twenties or younger at the time of his death and with this being during WWI, he may well have been
(another) war casualty, but so far, we have failed to trace any Australian service record.
-1 R.
Horace Boswell Noble
c. 1864 at Chilwell.
28th January 1945 at Bendigo.
Tea importer / mill overseer.
Married Alice Maud(e) Coulson, but separated. Eight children:
Leslie Harry (b. <18th November 1889, d. 19th April 1890)
Ellen Myrtle (b. 1891, d. 7th April 1914)
Cyril (b. 1893, d. 26th July 1962)
Frederick Montagne Marsell (b. c. 26th July 1896)
Horace John Reginald (b. 1898)
Sydney Clive (b. 1903, d. 9th July 1967)
Claude Geoffrey (b. 1907)
Harry Mansell (b. 1909, d. 1910)
The family received a letter from a member of the Noble family in USA (see above re John A G
Noble), trying to trace the Geelong family. It is unclear but it could be that Alice, who eventually
deserted Horace (or the other way around?), threw the letter into the fire.
Their son, Frederick Marsell, enlisted in the AIF (infantry) initially at age 19 in July 1915, and then
again in November 1916, his next-of-kin being shown as his mother, living at 64 Marshall Street,
Chilwell (Geelong). Both his mother and father signed a short letter on 13th July 1916 confirming
their agreement to “let our Son serve our King & Country”, but it could be that his parents had
already separated. Frederick did not distinguish himself, going AWOL (late back from leave) on
occasions and eventually failing to re-embark on his ship at Fremantle. He was then discharged for
misconduct in April 1917—a short service career!
Not much else is known of Horace except that at the time (1911) he became the guardian of Harry
Johnstone (see below), he lived at Marshall Street, Geelong and his occupation was shown as “mill
-1 S.
Lydia “Lettie” Alexandra (Noble) Johnstone
16th May 1866 at Geelong.
28th May 1906 at Newtown, Geelong.
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The Farrell Family
Part Two
Section Four
Married on 25th January 1893 to John Henry Talbot Johnstone (born c. 1848)
who was an accountant living in Moorabool Street Geelong (died c. 1911,
died 20th May 1906). One son, Henry (Harry) Talbot was born on 26th July
Identified as “Lydia” on her mother’s death certificate, she was variously known as “Letty”, “Lettie”,
“Vera” or “Dolly”, and was reputed to have been her father’s favourite child. Whilst still as young as
4 years old, she was to be found with her parents and siblings at Derby, England in April 1871. On
her marriage to John H T Johnstone, the couple stayed at Corio Terrace Geelong, but later she and
her husband lived in England for nine years. They had one child, Henry (“Harry”), born at Geelong
in 1894.
They returned from England to Geelong, and very soon afterwards Letty died at 'Kooyong',
30 Virginia Street, Newtown on 26 or 28 May 1906 (aged 39), just prior to the death of her own
father, who himself is reported to have died of a “broken heart”.
Harry was then just 11 years old. His father John practised as an accountant in Moorabool Street
where they then lived. Then with his father also dying when Harry was still only 15, Letters of
Administration were granted on 4th May 1911 to Horace Boswell Noble of John Talbot’s estate, and
Horace, his uncle, became young Harry’s guardian.
Later, Harry, after serving in the Australian military forces (we have not found a Service Record so
presumably this was after WWI), went to England with a friend and joined the King's Own Dragoon
Guards (King Edward's Horse) as a trooper. He married and had two children (Arthur, wed and Ruth,
unwed). Subsequently, he became the managing director of H J Mulliner & Co at Chiswick, which
prestigious firm provided coachwork for Rolls Royce and other luxury cars, and he visited Australia
in 1952/3 on business for Mulliners. He died in England in September 1979. His son, Arthur
Johnstone, lives or lived at Twickenham, Middlesex, and was also employed by Mulliners.65
H J Mulliner & Co took over the prem ises in Chiswick of Bedford Park Stores, next door to the Tabard in Bath
Road in 1908. They succeeded Keene's Autom obile W orks. Mulliners carried out coachwork for various m otor
car m anufacturers, including Rolls Royce and Daim ler. During W orld W ar II they built gliders and later
diversified into other products such as control desks for the BBC. In 1959 the firm was acquired by Rolls
Royce and in 1961 Mulliner was m erged with Park W ard Ltd to becom e Mulliner Park W ard. The firm left
Chiswick in 1968.
See also
Go to the bottom of the web-page for an Appendix written by Arthur Johnstone in 2006.
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